Since I know a lot of people aren’t going to read my post on The Disney Debate regarding race and representation for many different (and frequently understandable) reasons, if there’s anything you take away from it, let it be this:
You can SAY you don’t want “emotional blindness on either…OMG THANK YOU for pulling this out and highlighting it. The notion of “objectivity” is one of my biggest points of frustration in academia (or, well, in any kind of debate). There is no way one can escape subjectivity— even the notion of objectivity is culturally defined and, therefore, is actually subjective. The notion that a particular class (ie professors, ie vastly white men) can lord over and lay claim to reason is ridiculous. Furthermore, objectivity can be used as a crux to not bother to encourage diversity in academic fields. If one can simply magically shed their culture and understand with perfect clarity all that is right and good and worth remembering, then who needs diversity? Who needs different perspectives if by merit of simply “trying” we can declare what is discussed and remembered and what isn’t and our opinions perfect? Art Historians should be especially aware of this considering how it generally acknowledged (at least I’ve found in my studies) that an artist is subject to larger social, political, and cultural influences that he or she can’t possibly understand. So why is it such a leap for an Art Historian (or curator) to be subject to the same forces? Sorry for the rant— this is definitely something that really goads me. But it’s an attitude that really needs changing!There is no way one can escape subjectivity— even the notion of objectivity is culturally defined and, therefore, is actually subjective.